Career Q&A with Senior Computer Science Major Josh Leeman

Leeman sought out University Career Center support for internship applications and interviews and landed a Major League Baseball internship.
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Why did you decide to study computer science at UMD and what do you hope to do with your degree?

I’ve always been drawn to technology and how it can be utilized to impact our daily lives. My passion for computer science grew with two computer science electives in high school, where I learned basics in HTML, CSS, Javascript and Java. As I prepare to graduate, I am proud of all the skills I’ve developed in computer programming and data analysis, and I hope to apply them to building software that can benefit the lives of others.

How have you taken advantage of opportunities on campus to pursue your career goals?

In addition to relevant courses, I have sought to broaden my technical foundation and I’ve also been able to take advantage of the various workshops and events. Specifically, the resume and career prep workshops hosted by the University Career Center, some led by [University Career Center @ CMNS Program Director] Becca Ryan, were very helpful in preparing me for what the industry expects of me and looks for. The Computer Science Department’s career fair was a great place to network and build confidence in presenting my best self.

What kind of career guidance and one-on-one feedback did you receive from the University Career Center @ CMNS?

In addition to the previously mentioned workshops, I sought out multiple one-on-one resume reviews and a mock interview at the Career Center. These helped immensely on a more personal level. I received specific suggestions for how to improve my resume from Becca Ryan and how to best tailor my responses to interview questions from [University Career Center @ CMNS Academic Advisor] Olivia Rosenburg. Becca told me to focus more on content and less on appearance and to not leave anything out. I had been concerned about not having anything left to talk about in an interview, but she told me, “You have to get the interview first.”

I felt that the Career Center prepared me as well as they possibly could for the internship application process. I found that the best way to build confidence and truly feel prepared for anything is to experience it myself.

What do you think your next stop after graduation will be (or what do you hope it will be)?

I had the privilege of working as a software engineering intern with Major League Baseball last summer. I was tasked with redesigning a website responsible for submitting data to be cleared from the cache. I learned so much both as a software developer and as a professional, and I would love to work there full-time next year if I can because it has always been my dream to use my technical skills to enhance the sport I love.

What advice do you have for fellow Science Terps who are looking for internships and jobs?

Be patient. I remember hoping to get accepted to the first job I applied to, let alone even hearing back, but unfortunately, it just doesn’t work like that. Build a system for yourself that makes it easy to apply for jobs in bunches. Craft a cover letter that conveys your passion for the job and is repeatable for others, save a few lines.

-Story by the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Science


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